Bear Clan Patrol board address allegations after ousting of former executive director

Board says James Favel “has not been forthcoming about the causes for his dismissal.”

The Bear Clan Patrol’s board of directors is firing back after what it is calling a number of “false allegations” made since the group fired former executive director James Favel.

In a statement posted on the group’s website and Facebook page, the board refutes six claims they say Favel “and others” have made since Favel was fired last month.

“James Favel has not been forthcoming about the causes for his dismissal,” the board wrote.

“Serious human resources issues came to light, that were independently confirmed, and they are among the reasons for his dismissal.”

The board announced Favel was let go on July 31, the same day it notified the long time leader and face of the Bear Clan Patrol.

Favel then went public with claims to local media that he was “bullied and betrayed” by the current board.

A Workplace Safety and Health investigation was completed this year stemming from a complaint about Favel’s conduct, according to the statement.

The board provided a glimpse into the report but did not release the full document.

“Mr. Favel does not believe that he has done anything wrong, however, his treatment of (name redacted) has been unprofessional and intimidating. Although he has been asked to apologize to (name redacted) for his mistreatment, he has not done so to date,” they wrote in the statement.

“When the Board attempted to address a formal complaint against Mr. Favel in March 2020, he responded by hiring a lawyer and attempting to dismiss the Board,” they added.

The statement claims this is the third time Favel has attempted to replace the board, saying, “he had similarly fallen out with, and forced to dissolve, two previous Boards.”

One of the claims related to concerns over the board’s diversity, as well as police involvement. The board says its nine volunteer members reflect the population it’s serving with Indigenous, Filipino, Black and white members.

Two directors on the board have current or former connections to the Winnipeg Police Service. One of these members is Indigenous.

The decision to post the statement online has been criticized by some, with the move being called “unprofessional” and “inappropriate.”

A petition to reinstate Favel has been circulating online and presently has nearly 2,500 signatures.

APTN has reached out to Favel numerous times but he has declined interview requests.

The organization’s annual general meeting was set to take place Aug. 24 but has been postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic.

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